Managing Director, responsAbility France
BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background
Sébastien holds diplomas from the French Business School EDHEC (with a major in finance) and the DESCF (Chartered Accountant). He speaks French, English, German and Russian.
From 1995 to 2005, Sébastien worked for Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young as a TAS Senior Director (Transaction Advisory Services). During those 10 years, he was involved in 73 transactions in the banking sector in France (takeover of CCF by HSBC…) and emerging markets (in Tunisia, Morocco, Bosnia, Serbia, Czech Republic…).
He became CEO of PlaNet Finance in June 2005. Up to September 2009 as managing director of Planet Finance, he managed on a worldwide basis more than 200 programs of technical assistance in microfinance. He is also a co-founder of FinanCités (micro venture capital in France) and Planet Guarantee (one of the largest worldwide broker in micro insurance).
Since September 2009, Sebastien is in charge of the debt investments portfolio of responsAbility in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia (current portfolio size of 820 million USD invested in 103 organizations in the region). He is also part of the management committee of responsAbility.
ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?
responsAbility Investments AG is one of the world’s leading asset managers in the field of development investments, in sectors such as Microfinance, SME financing, Fair Trade, Energy and Education.
It offers professionally-managed investment solutions to both private and institutional investors. The company’s investment vehicles supply debt and equity financing to non-listed firms in emerging economies and developing countries. Through their activities, these firms help to meet the basic needs of broad sections of the population and to drive economic development – leading to greater prosperity in the long term.
responsAbility currently has USD 2.8 billion of assets under management. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Zurich and has local offices in Hong Kong, Lima, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo and Paris. Its shareholders include a number of reputable institutions in the Swiss financial market as well as its own employees. responsAbility is registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
LOCATION / In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?
responsAbility is a truly global player in the field of development investments, investing in 531 businesses in 93 countries all around the world. The main regions are Central Asia (26.2%), South-East Asia (22%) and South America (19.5%).
Sébastien, as managing director of responsAbility France, is specialized in debt investments in ECA and MENA countries (Eastern and Central Europe, Middle East and North Africa). For his job, he works from France and in Switzerland, Eastern and Central Europe and North Africa.
IMPACT / What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of your activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?
responsAbility has got thirteen different funds specialized in five different investment themes : Finance, Agriculture, Education, Health and Energy. It gives low income entrepreneurs from emerging countries the right tools to develop their businesses and activities without being exposed to external risks. Today, 90 % from the world population do not have or have an incomplete access to financial services. So, they are constantly exposed to economic and social risks.
In this way, responsAbility is engaged to invest in the real economy of sectors linked to development.
The target of responsAbility funds are micro, small and medium enterprises, who give access to basic products. They have an extensible product range or have small or medium income.
Thanks to the responsAbility Fair Trade Fund, 86’532 farmers were reached by financial support from 91 Fair Trade oriented institutions in June 2015. responsAbility Microfinance Leaders fund is targeting 65 % clients from rural areas. 80 % of the clients are woman entrepreneurs during the second quarter of this year. It’s mostly the same figures for responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund. The average return of investment of all funds is around 4 % net.
As the financial and impact results have different outputs, they are measured by quantitative and qualitative indicators for each fund.